Saturday, July 31, 2010

VHT Special 6 Review

Have you noticed lately? Ice cream costs the same but the container is smaller, a cereal box is the same size but the contents weigh less, cans of tomato sauce have changed the volume (which really messes with some recipes) that do not list the actual mass or volume but simply state 'can'" but the price is the same! The point I am trying to make is that we consumers are being chiseled as my grandpa would say....

However, fear not VHT has a nice little surprise for us and it is a nice value - The Special 6 is a 6 watt class A amp that really has some cool tones. Naw, VHT didn't try to reinvent the wheel but simply make the spokes better so to say.

VHT is an American company that outsources some of it's work to China. The eyelet board is plugged in China. Nice work and it's easy for someone like me to fix but I shouldn't have to deal with that since it has a 5 year warranty and is build like a Patton Tank save for the weight. The eyelet board is easy to modify if you are into tinkering - just be careful of to discharge the capacitors. What I like is the simplicity of the design, two knobs (volume and tone), two inputs (high and low), two power modes (high and low), and the volume switch doubles as a boost if you pull up on the potentiometer.

$200 dollars and I can carry it in one hand and my guitar in the other. Bliss....

The nice thing about this amp is that you can get a nice distortion by cranking up the volume. Humbuckers really get nasty while my Single coils have a nice jangle even without the reverb.

There are two power modes: high and low, with the low being fine with humbuckers and the high giving a little more power behind the single coils.

Another nice feature is the foot switch. Albeit the switch could be a little more rugged it still serves the purpose. Pull the volume switch up and you get an added boost. The foot switch lets you toggle between a over driven tone or a cleaner tone but the clean still remains a little distorted at volume. I expected this since this is a low volume amplifier. I think most users will like this feature.

I think this VHT Special 6 would be a nice addition to apartment dwellers, new parents, home studios that want differing tones. Really cool guys - thanks!

Here is more information!

VHT Special 6 Combo

Boutique amp players will love the Special 6’s combination of handwired tube goodness, unique features and unparalleled value. The mod-friendly Special 6 is easy to customize for home amp builders and tube amp enthusiasts.

The Special 6 gets its powerful tube sound from one 12AX7 preamp tube and one 6V6 output tube. It boasts a footswitchable Gain Boost feature that significantly expands its range of tones -- it's the only amp in its class that excels at both clean and overdriven tones, and it's the only amp in its class to offer a footswitchable boost. With the Gain Boost, players can instantly toggle between clean rhythm tones and overdriven leads, essentially duplicating the footswitchable functions of a 2-channel amp in an all-tube, handwired, simple, 2-knob package.

To further expand its range of tones, the Special 6 also features a High/Low power switch that enhances low-volume tones with extra-smooth richness (when in half-power mode). It's a great feature for recording, or for low-volume "bedroom" players. In high-power mode, it's one of the few amps in its class that is loud enough to compete with a strong drummer. The Special 6 combo is outfitted with a special high sensitivity 10" VHT Special Design speaker.

6 Watts
One 6V6 Output Tube
One 12AX7 Preamp Tube
Volume and Tone Controls
Footswitchable Boost Mode
High/Low Power Switch
10” VHT High-Sensitivity Speaker
4, 8, and 16 Ohm Speaker Jacks
Mod-Friendly Eyelet-Type Board
Hand-wired In China
Model: AV-SP1-6


Dan said...

Thanks for the review. I have ordered the Special 6 Head and 112 closed speaker cab. I will refer to your posting again after I get started using it. I started to get the combo but they were out and I was offered a special price for the two pieces that I couldn't pass up. Thanks again for the well written review.

Scott said...

Thanks Dan! Lately I've been running my TC Electronic "Flashback" with zero distortion so I can play my favorite rockabilly tunes. Works wonderful for practice and the slap back delay gives the sound a pseudo reverb sound that is fun fun fun! Sure there are nicer amps but at double the cost! Have fun and thanks again! Scot

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